Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infected. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with medicated dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.
Performing a root canal is the treatment of choice in order to prevent deterioration and removal of the tooth. Many patients believe that removing the tooth is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting the tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for the adjacent teeth.
Root canal treatments are highly successful and usually last a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to a new infection.
Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
- Sensitivity to heat and cold.
- Severe toothache pain.
- Swelling and/or tenderness.
- Discolored or broken tooth
Reasons for root canal therapy:
- Infection or abscesses have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
- Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
- Severe toothache pain.
- Injury or trauma to the tooth causing damage to the pulp.
How are Dental Root Canals Performed?Depending on the number of teeth and severity affected, root canals usually require one to two visits not including any follow-up visits. Your dentist or Endodontist will numb the area around the affected tooth, or may offer you the option of mild sedation. A rubber dental dam is placed and the tooth is then drilled to the pulp area either through the top or the back of the tooth. The actual root canals are measured after some of the pulp has been removed. This is done so that the dentist can clean the entire canal, and so that enough of the filling material will be used to completely fill the canal. The actual measuring is done with either x-rays or electronic imaging devices.
All of the diseased pulp in the tooth is removed, and the canal is cleaned out thoroughly with an antiseptic solution. This solution will clean all of the canals within the tooth. The canals are then filled with gutta percha, a flexible plastic material. A temporary filling is then put on top of that. A crown or permanent filling will be done after there has been no sign of infection. Crowns are most common since the root canal procedure weakens the tooth. The crown is usually placed as soon as possible, within a month or less.
Call us today to schedule your free consultation or any questions you may have about Root Canal therapy treatment.